#00446
Spanish Ladies (Maud Karpeles) MIDIs, video
#345: YouTube video by rexlibris99
©2007 ~ Used with permission ~

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Farewell an' adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies,
Farewell an' adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
For we've received orders for to sail for Old England,
An' hope very shortly to see you again.

We'll rant an' we'll roar, like true British sailors,
We'll rant an' we'll rave across the salt seas;
Till we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-four leagues.

We hove our ship to, with the wind at sou'west, boys,
We hove our ship to, for to take soundings clear;
In fifty-five fathoms with a fine sandy bottom,
We filled our main tops'l, up Channel did steer.

The first land we made was a point called the Deadman,
Next, Ramshead off Plymouth, Start, Portland and Wight;
We sailed then by Beachie, by Fairlee, and Dungyness,
Then bore straight away for the South Foreland Light.

We'll rant an' we'll roar, like true British sailors,
We'll rant an' we'll rave across the salt seas;
Till we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-four leagues.

Now the signal was made for the grand fleet to anchor,
We clewed up our tops'ls, stuck out tacks and sheets;
We stood by our stoppers, we brailed in our spankers,
And anchored ahead of the noblest of fleets.

Let every man here drink up his full bumper,
Let every man here drink up his full bowl;
And let us be jolly and drown melancholy,
Drink a health to each jovial an' true-hearted soul!

We'll rant an' we'll roar, like true British sailors,
We'll rant an' we'll rave across the salt seas;
Till we strike soundings in the Channel of Old England,
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty-four leagues.

####.... Author unknown. This old naval capstan shanty is a variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, The Spanish Ladies, published by J Pitts (London) sometime between 1819 and 1844, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Firth c.17(305) ....####
The lyrics above are from Shanties From The Seven Seas: Shipboard Work-Songs And Songs Used As Work-Songs From The Great Days Of Sail by Stan Hugill; published 1961, 1966, 1979, 1984, by Routledge & Kegan Paul PLC, London, Boston, Melbourne, and Oxford © Stan Hugill 1961.

The video above features an excellent choral performance by The Men Of The Robert Shaw Chorale on their album Sea Shanties (RCA Victor, 1999).

A variant was collected by Maud Karpeles [1885-1976] and published as #41, Spanish Ladies, in Folk Songs From Newfoundland (Faber & Faber, London, 1971; also Oxford, 1934).

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Brailed - hauled up (the sails) by means of the brails (sewing lines);
Clewed up - ceased, completed or finished an action, task, etc;
Spanker - woman's shawl; figurative term from a vessel's fore-and-aft sail;

From Wikipedia:
Stopper - nautical term for a length of rope that is made fast to a fixed object with the other end attached to a tensioned line using a friction hitch (a kind of knot used to attach one rope to another in a way that is easily adjusted) in order to slacken a portion of the tensioned line. For example, if a sheet (a line, rope, cable or chain used to control the movable corners or clews of a sail) becomes jammed on a winch while under sail, a stopper can be used to temporarily take the strain off the winch while the riding turn (a section of rope that passes on top of another section of rope) is cleared. An unintentional riding turn on a sailing winch can cause it to jam.



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